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PRESS - selected quotes

"The rather spare music is mesmerizing. The three musicians of HNH all ring the most modern bells throughout... Possibly the most illuminating aspect of all of the disc’s offering is the myriad of contrasts of tonal color and harmonic language which grasps the human ear with spectacular sharpness and heat. All of the pieces require utmost precision of pitch, seamless unfolding of lines and clarity of texture for the music to work its wonders on the mind’s ear."

Raul da Gama, 11/2015

“The collaborations between these two giants, Perelman and Shipp, are innumerable, and the interplay they have achieved between them is we can find them accompanied by Joe Hertenstein on percussion, a genuine human powerhouse, whose dry and precise drumming style serves as an amazing accompaniment for the flights of fancy of the two companions. "Scalene" is an intense and deep album, on the borderline between jazz and contemporary music, but powerful and lyrical just the same, and an additional testimony to the talents of these musicians."
(“Scalene”, LeoRecords)

Giancarlo D., 07/2018

Scalene w Perelman/Shipp LeoRecords

"Four approaches to free improvisation highlight individualism on the drums. On Perelman's Scalene JOE HERTENSTEIN plays with a driving, chattery approach incorporating rubato elements in his delivery."

ModernDrummerMagazine, Martin Patmos, 5/2018

"The very classy Joe Hertenstein shows true empathy by following and commenting on the meandering, winding evolution of the two inseparable duetters Perelman and Shipp."

Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, 11/2017

"Perelman is playing at a very high level..Shipp as always is an absolute rock..they are a potent combination under any circumstances, but adding Hertenstein to the picture pours gas on the fire and makes the music even more exciting and edgy."

Tim Niland, 11/2017

"The music in the end is tightly focused, free yet considered, exemplary of the art of avant improv today. Hertenstein, Niggenkemper and Heberer are making music of real importance, music gratifying to hear, exciting to experience, filled with singular artistry. These are three of the best and their confluence is nothing short of auspicious on this set. Get to this one if you can. It's very worth your time!"

Grego Applegate Edwards, 11/2015

"Using the structures in no way restricts the interaction of the musicians - it is extremely intense and strongly affects the emotions of the audience. Sometimes I had the feeling that it was not recorded, but HNH are playing right next to my doorstep. And this is not the merit of the equipment, because I just used my ipod. In my opinion, the most vivid, pulsating energy and groove recording of improvised music which I had the opportunity to encounter this year. Necessary!"

Marek Zając, 06/2015

"Hertenstein is a master at complementing his band mates' gait." (FUTURE DRONE)

Glenn Astarita, 3/2013

“Everything is free of pretense and consists of in the moment mindful creativity. The music on this album blends the talent of three unique musicians in dramatic fashion, showcasing their captivating and climactic music.” (FUTURE DRONE)

Tim Niland, 10/2012

"Part of NYC’s growing diaspora of German musicians, again drummer Joe Hertenstein shows his maturity as a performer and composer." (POLYLEMMA)

Ken Waxman, TheNYCJazzRecord 10/2011

"Everyone plays creatively, but Hertenstein’s drums are a standout." (POLYLEMMA)

KZSU, Stanford Radio 90.1FM, 8/2011

"Drummer Joe Hertenstein produced, wrote the liner notes & half of the songs and led this session. Hertenstein's superb drums spin quickly and effortlessly on "One Ocean at a Time", providing the glue that holds this complex, ever-shifting piece together. Even at just 46 minutes, this disc is completely successful, ultimately crafty and often surprising in direction throughout." (POLYLEMMA)

Bruce Lee Gallanter, 7/2011

"Enough can’t be said about the toe-tapping swing of Hertenstein – the drummer has the subtle complexity of an Ed Blackwell, able to patch infectious rhythms into the most abstract of group improvisations." (HNH)

Clifford Allen, 1/2011

"Hertenstein practices that loose time-keeping so prevalent in Europe that the ignorant use to claim that an entire continent can’t swing." (HNH)

Andrey Henkin, 1/2011

"...especially when the parade ground pastiche of Joe Hertenstein's drums seem to be shaping the music from the bottom up." (JamesChoiceOrchestra, Live in Moers)

Nick Jones, 2/2008

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Maciej Lewenstein’s thoughts on Ivo Perelman’s SCALENE with Matthew Shipp on Leo Records: 

"The following 'Scalene' was recorded also in Brooklyn with a trio with Matthew Shipp and Joe Hertenstein on drums. Joe is actually very well known in Europe, where he plays concerts frequently in very "high" places and at important jazz festivals. He played with many giants, and was in particular a member of the Butch Morris' NY ensembles Nublu Orchestra and LUCKY CHENG Orchestra. He recorded a fantastic debut album as a leader and composer HNH featuring Thomas Heberer (t) and Pascal Niggenkemper (b) on Cleanfeed Records. I describe in this book a fantastic album of Danny Kamins, "After Effects", recorded with Damon Smith on bass, Joe, and the legend of the free jazz drumming, Alvin Fielder.


As Neil Tesser writes in the liner notes, quoting Ivo, there is a vital distinction between Hertenstein's approach and the styles of the majority of Perelman's percussion partners. Joe is a melodist, his playing resembles to some extend that of Zlatko Kaucic. Indeed, "Joe fills the space with such beauty, and we had to adopt to it". And, they do it perfectly, which can be heard from "Part 1" to "Part 10”. In fact, "Part 1" is one of my favorites, with oscillating moods and rhythm structures. The quiet "Part 2" is also a small masterpiece with absolutely exquisite drumming. "Part3" has for me a touch of soul music, whereas the slow "Part 4" reminds me of some of the best Cecil Taylor's and Jimmy Lyons' tracks. "Part 6" is another candidate for the best slow tune/ballad of the whole series. Finally, I definitely adore also the "Part 8", for its superposition of tranquillity and expression at full power."

View original posting of review.

He also wrote of Danny Kamin’s “After Effects” on FMR with Damon Smith and Alvin Fielder:
“Great artistic concept, great album, very highly recommended!”

View original posting of review.

Listen to Scalene on Spotify!

Listen to After Effects on my website!

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